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Oxenhope Flushed with Success

We often receive complements for our locomotives and trains and we report quiet happily on the overall ambience of our stations, but it is rare that the toilets, some dating back to the 19th Century, get a mention.

It was decided that, as a main joining point on the Railway and with toilets that, although authentic left a little to be desired especially on a cold winter’s day, Oxenhope needed something a little more in keeping with today’s passenger expectations. At not inconsiderable cost, a new toilet block, in a style that complements the rest of Oxenhope Station, was completed in 2014 much to the relief of those needing to avail themselves of such a facility.

Not only have the public appreciated the new toilets but we are justifiably proud that they have received national recognition with an award in The Stagecoach Volunteers Award annual competition. The KWVR were awarded a Highly Commended and a Certificate was presented to the Railway by Lord Faulkner of Worcester on 2nd December for the Oxenhope Railway Station Toilet Block.

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Pies “bi’ os ‘n’ cart”

Sat in the Oxenhope buffet tucking into your pie and peas, we think it unlikely that you will ponder over this delicacy and wonder how the pie arrived on the Railway. If you were to guess, we would imagine that your thoughts would turn to a wholesale supplier sending them by carrier in cardboard boxes. You couldn’t be further from the truth. To steam and diesel engines add the good old faithful horse and cart and substitute a wholesaler with C. & L.  Herd, butchers, of Queens Road, Keighley.

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Christine Laycock, Oxenhope Buffet Manager, with a selection of the pies that C. & L. Herd produce

The Keighley & Worth Valley Railway is very proud of our sourcing as many supplies from the local area as possible and in this case it could not be more local, Chris Herd has his own farm in Oxenhope where most of his meats are sourced.

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway has been buying pies, pasties and meat supplies from  C. & L.  Herd for a number of years, but recently some deliveries have started to arrive by horse and cart much to the delight of passengers, passers-by and staff.

This helps to turn back the clock for the railway, which is, of course, reproducing a past era to the days when all goods were delivered to and from stations by the trusty horse and cart.

Christine Laycock (pictured above), manager of the station buffet, said, “It is fantastic that Chris Herd is now able to deliver by horse and cart. His pies, pasties and sandwiches go down really well with our customers and staff and are very popular. We sell lots and lots of pies and his fresh scones are brilliant. Now that the buffet is open from Wednesday to Sunday, even when the trains are not running, we get lots of visitors from the village as well, as we are the only café in Oxenhope.”

So next time you are in the area, make Oxenhope Buffet, your first stop for morning coffee, a light lunch or an afternoon break. The Buffet is open every weekend and each weekday when trains are running and Wednesday – Friday when they are not.

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Is David Petyt, Director – Customer Operations, having a word with the horse to leave something behind for the Railway’s award winning gardens? Next year’s blooms may give us the answer.

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5 Star Performance for Oxenhope Buffet

The next time you eat in the Oxenhope buffet, spare a thought for those who serve you, confined in that tiny space and at times dealing with a crush of passengers on arrival of a train from Keighley. Not only do they serve up a good selection of drinks and food but you may ponder just how does the food preparation area fair in relation to the legal hygiene standards and to what degree of cleanliness do they achieve when there is no room to swing the proverbial cat.

TdF33The answer, food serving areas do not come any better than Oxenhope buffet. Today the buffet had an unannounced inspection by the H.M. Government health inspectors from the Food Standards Agency and we are delighted for Christine Laycock (pictured taking a break from the Tour de France) and her dedicated team who were awarded the highest rating – 5 STARS. When asked to what does she attribute this award, her response, as always is “Hardwork and teamwork from all the staff and volunteers.” The Railway is justifiably proud of Christine and her team.

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Oxenhope Café Project Receives Board Approval – Report by Dr. Matthew Stroh

After several months of work, the project group has concluded that to provide the quality and scale of catering that will meet passengers’ current and predicted future needs, we are talking about a significant building and equipment cost and as a result the project will require external funding. At last week’s Board meeting, the project group presented our feasibility study and the funding proposal. I’m very pleased that there was unanimous support from the Society Board to continue to proceed with the Oxenhope café development, subject to the details of the funding being finalised and acceptable.

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Oxenhope & Keighley Buffets – Can YOU Help!

What better way to spend your Saturdays and Sundays than helping out on your favourite railway. Success brings its own problems and the buffets have been so busy they now need YOUR help. Passengers and working members alike appreciate the buffet facilities at either end of the line where there is time to sit and enjoy the catering facilities whilst the engine runs round to quench its own thirst before tackling the next journey up or down the Valley.

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Oxenhope development gets a Green planning light

In 2013 the Railway announced plans for a major redevelopment of the Oxenhope station environs centring on the provision of a permanent catering facility to provide visitors with a more substantial eating experience. The Oxenhope area is a Conservation Area and as such any developments have to be sensitive to the local environment. Taking the myriad of issues that surround conservation areas into consideration, plans sensitive to these issues were submitted for consideration by the planning authorities and a number of issues were raised by the Conservation Officer. The railway responded to the challenges he made to the original plans to his satisfaction and the Railway is pleased to announce that approval has now been granted, subject only to some ‘standard’ conditions but with no significant changes to the original design.

 

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Now that planning approval has been received the Officers of the Railway can now work on the business plan to take this significant development forward.

Photographed on a wet Sunday in March the current catering facility looks forlorn and perfectly illustrates the great benefits the new café will bring, not only to hungry visitors but also to the aesthetics of Oxenhope station itself.

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Photos: News@KWVR